A Salmonella outbreak has sickened at least eighteen people at the Heritage Corner Health Campus in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Wood County Health District has been investigating the outbreak since June 9, 2015.
County officials are collaborating with the Ohio Department of Health, a member of the Outbreak Response and Bioterrorism Investigation Team, and a Food Safety Specialist with the Ohio Department of Health Food Safety Program. Heritage Corner is cooperating with the investigation.
Heritage Corner Health Campus offers independent and assisted living to senior citizens. The facility also offers hospice care, skilled rehab, and houses a child care center.
Public health officials are interviewing those sickened about foods they ate and other possible exposure routes before they got sick. Staff has also been interviewed, and the kitchen and facility have been inspected by both the county health department and the Ohio Department of Health.
Recommendations have been made to the facility, including thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the entire facility, reinforcement of hand washing procedures. Common areas and dining areas were closed until officials could discuss the issue with staff. Officials also suggested that meals be served in take out containers that can be eaten in resident’s rooms.
Symptoms apparently began on 5/24/15. As of 6/9/15, there are eighteen cases of Salmonella poisoning.
The investigation is evolving, according to the press release. More information will be provided as officials learn more.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. They usually begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. People are usually sick for 4 to 7 days, but some people become so seriously ill they must be hospitalized.